Sharp considers more cuts
Japan’s embattled Sharp is considering cutting thousands of jobs in addition to its current plan of slashing 5,000 jobs to repair its disintegrating balance sheet, a report said yesterday. As the struggling electronics maker decided to cut thousands more jobs, its main banks are likely to provide bridge loans of about ￥60 billion (US$755 million) to shore up Sharp’s cash flow, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported. A separate report by the Yomiuri Shimbun said yesterday it is considering a sale of the land in western Japan where its key Sakai plant is located — with a book value of ￥38.1 billion — to institutional investors in a bid to plug a gaping hole in its balance sheet.Sharp also plans to sell its building in Tokyo with the book value of ￥42.2 billion to its business partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Yomiuri said.
US investigates banks
US regulators are investigating claims Deutsche Bank and other global banks funneled billions of dollars for Iran, Sudan and other sanctioned nations, the New York Times reported yesterday. The probe is still in its very early stages, law enforcement officials told the newspaper, adding that Deutsche Bank was not believed to have moved funds on behalf of Iranian clients through its US operations after 2008. The investigation of Deutsche Bank is among a series of cases against global financial firms since 2009 suggesting that financial firms often transferred money for Iranian banks and companies under a loophole in US policy that ended in 2008, the Times said.
US$5m salary for CEO
The New York Times Co’s incoming CEO Mark Thompson will receive annual compensation of about US$5 million, the company said in a securities filing on Friday. Thompson, 55, will be paid a US$1 million annual salary, have an annual target bonus of US$1 million and receive a signing bonus in stock and stock options worth US$3 million, the company said. Next year, Thompson’s pay package is slated to be largely the same, except the signing bonus will be replaced with a long-term incentive stock award also worth US$3 million. Thompson, the outgoing director-general of the BBC, will receive moving expenses of up to US$100,000 through 2013 for relocating from Oxford, England, to New York. He will also receive legal fees up to US$25,000 for contract negotiations. Thompson is set to begin in November.
Heineken raises offer
Heineken NV raised its offer for Fraser and Neave’s stake in the maker of Tiger beer to US$6.35 billion on Friday, seeking to fend off a Thai rival for control of a leading brand in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market. The Dutch brewer confirmed an earlier report on Friday when it made a revised offer for Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) of S$53 per share. It had previously bid S$50 per share, while a Thai billionaire’s group made a partial offer of S$55 per APB share. Heineken, the world’s third-biggest brewer, is seeking control of Asia Pacific Breweries to gain a larger slice of one of the last beer markets that is still growing rapidly.